Power reclining sofas are useful for people who have medical afflictions, such as arthritis, that make it difficult to get in and out of a chair or sofa comfortably. A power recliner electronically adjusts to either help you out of the chair or to ease you into it. It is also adjustable, usually by remote, once you're settled in, so you can position yourself in the most comfortable position possible. While convenient, power reclining sofas do have problems.
Power reclining sofas need electricity to work properly, whereas traditional recliners are operated manually with levers on the side of the chair or sofa. If you have a power recliner due to arthritis or some other physical malady, you might find yourself stuck in the chair in the event of a power outage. If you don't have an alternative way to get out of the chair and have no way to contact anyone, you must wait for the power to come back on before getting yourself out of the recliner. If the power is out due to a short in the chair, you'll have to struggle out and call someone for help.
Power reclining sofas are more complicated by design than their manual counterparts, and, therefore, statistically more things can go wrong on them. Power recliners are made for convenience, and reputable companies such as La-Z-Boy manufacture them. However, a chair with frequent mechanical problems has the reverse effect than what was intended in that they are a hassle to repair.
Power reclining sofas are more expensive than regular recliners or traditional sofas due to the electrical components and mechanical parts involved. Some chairs cost over $1,500 in September 2010, whereas you can purchase a decent regular recliner for $200. Not only is the sofa itself more expensive but it also is expensive to repair. You're not likely to fix a mechanical error in your power recliner yourself, so you must call a service technician. Otherwise, you must ship the chair to a factory for repairs, which is more of a hassle and more expensive than traditional recliner repair.